Grand Opening of “First on the Waterways: the Puyallup People”

Photo of Puyallup People dance

The Puyallup Canoe Family members drum and dance during the grand opening ceremony.

Photo of Foss Waterway Seaport and water

The Foss Waterway Seaport.

The Foss Waterway Seaport opened an exhibit about the Puyallup People — “The First on the Waterways: the Puyallup People” on Feb. 15. The grand opening featured a traditional Puyallup tribal blessing and song and dance.

Many Puyallup Tribal members spoke, saying that this exhibit is the first that tells the story of the Puyallup People on their terms, in their way. “Our story has not been told by our people in this manner,” says Connie McCloud, Puyallup Tribal Culture Director. “We’ve been here since the beginning of time.”

The exhibit tells the story of the Puyallup People and their connection to the waterways. Learn from artifacts, hands-on activities,  multi-media displays and more.

Puyallup 2018 Canoe Journey

In summer 2018, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians will host the 2018 Canoe Journey — exciting! At the grand opening of the “Puyallup People” exhibit, Puyallup tribal members talked about hosting the Canoe Journey. Tribes from all over the Pacific Northwest will paddle along the shores of the Salish Sea to make their way to Puyallup. Thousands are expected to make this spiritual journey. The museum’s exhibit includes a section about Canoe Journeys. Tribal members also carved paddles during the grand opening ceremony. The Puyallup 2018 Canoe Journey is planned to be open to the public.

Learn more about the Puyallup People and the Canoe Journey at the museum!


To experience some of the grand opening, please take a look at this short video of the Puyallup Tribe’s Canoe Family members drumming and dancing in the opening song:


These pictures show some of the people who worked on this important exhibit and spoke at the grand opening:

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If you couldn’t attend the grand opening, you can still see the “First on the Waterways: the Puyallup People” exhibit! It’s now part of the Seaport’s permanent displays.

For more information about the “Puyallup People”exhibit and Puyallup Canoe Journey

  • Foss Waterway Seaport’s website about the exhibit.
  • Puyallup Tribe of Indian’s website about the Puyallup 2018 Canoe Journey.
  • Tacoma Weekly’s article “First on the Waterway” about the exhibit.
  • Video of Puyallup Culture Director Connie McCloud giving the blessing at the grand opening.
  • Attend the Tacoma Waterfront Association’s meeting on March 14 at 11:30 a.m. at the Tacoma Youth Marine Center. Puyallup Tribal Councilmember James Rideout will discuss the Puyallup 2018 Canoe Journey and related topics. Free!

— Liz Satterthwaite, Engage Northwest.

** Disclaimer: Engage Northwest provides communications support for the Tacoma Waterfront Association. **

Waterfront: intersection of environment, recreation and jobs

Photo of Pierce County Executive

Three words define him, says the Pierce County Executive.

Did you know that Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier grew up sailing on Puget Sound and even crewed on the Adventuress? Last week, Executive Dammeier talked with the Tacoma Waterfront Association about his personal connection to and vision for the waterfront. Mr. Dammeier says the waterfront is the “intersection of environment, recreation and jobs.” He believes this is a great destination, but not enough people know it.

Executive Dammeier says three words define him: action, collaboration and partnership. He noted that these words may also apply to the waterfront.

Mr. Dammeier said Pierce County has two economic pillars: the Port of Tacoma and Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He believes veterans are a huge asset in our community. At the moment, he says the greatest challenge facing our community is finding ways to work together.

More information

About the Tacoma Waterfront Association

The Tacoma Waterfront Association is a group of businesses, nonprofits and individuals who protect and promote Tacoma’s waterfront. TWA holds monthly meetings on waterfront-related topics. These meetings are good networking opportunities and free for members and guests! TWA supports events along the waterfront, such as the recent Festival of Sail. Interested in becoming a member? Check out the membership levels and benefits here. Follow TWA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Thank you!

**Disclaimer** Engage Northwest provides communications assistance to the Tacoma Waterfront Association.